Burial flag family issue

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Flag Discussion' started by Staceye, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. Staceye

    Staceye New Member

    long story short me and my husband were separated when he passed, our children were 6 & 9 at the time. Even though we were still married I was suppose to get his burial flag at his funeral, but at his mother’s request she wanted it until the girls were old enough or she passed. I reluctantly granted her wishes even though now I know it was the worst decision ever.

    Now my children are 21 & 25 and his half sister took the belongings after the mother passed and has decided she wants to keep the flag. There was no will, and we actually had to wait until the mothers bf passed before obtaining anything from another family member. My children are devistated. Is there anything we can do?
  2. FlagAdvocate

    FlagAdvocate Member

    Hello Staceye. Welcome to the Forum.

    The issue you raise has been generally dealt with previously on this Forum. There is a search box in the upper right corner. Enter Burial flag or Burial flag to who? and click on Search to find previous discussions on the topic by scrolling down. Look especially for comments by Peter Ansoff and Robin Hickman, the Forum's most respected and knowledgable contributors. Good luck.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018
  3. Staceye

    Staceye New Member

    Thank you very much.
  4. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    Hi, Staceye,

    I'm sorry for your and your Daughters' loss.

    Although you did NOT state if your husband was an American and an Active Duty Member of the Armed Forces or a Veteran, I'm going to assume that he was one or the other.

    While the Military Services and the V.A. have protocols for the "order of precedence" (or succession) as to who should receive the Service Member's or Veteran's "Interment" Flag at the time of interment, burial, or memorial service, once the Flag is presented to whomever the Family has chosen to receive it (usually the Primary Next Of Kin), it then becomes the Family's decision as to what becomes of the Flag. I wish there was an easier or gentler way to put it, but I can't think of any. The decision as to who would receive your husband's Interment Flag, rightly or wrongly, was made about 15 years ago.

    To my knowledge, when it comes to the "Primary Next Of Kin" (PNOK) the various Armed Forces and the V.A. have similar "Order of Succession" as to who "should" receive the Interment Flag, and in what order. To my knowledge, Active Duty Service Members usually have to designate who their "Primary Next Of Kin" is, and do it in writing on an official form, however, I don't think that the Veterans Administration has the same "rule".

    The following list is as close as I could find after a short Google search. I do NOT know if it is "official" but after I found several VERY similar lists, I feel it's pretty darn close.

    Primary Next of Kin (PNOK)

    1. Spouse
    2. Sons or daughters in the order of age, oldest first
    3. Oldest parent, unless legal custody was granted to another person
    4. Blood or adoptive relative granted legal custody
    5. Brothers or sisters in the order of age, oldest first
    6. Oldest grandparent
    7. Other relative in accordance with laws of deceased's domicile
    8. Close friends and associates
    As I have stated in a number of other threads in these Forums, I am NOT a lawyer and I don't play one on TV! Because this is now such a long time after your Husband's funeral, this is now no longer a "Flag" problem, but a "legal" problem. I can not give you any legal advice on who's right or wrong, or how to proceed. I wish you all the luck in the world in coming to a peaceful and amicable solution to your problem.

    Good Luck, Staceye!

    Robin Hickman
    "Your Friendly Neighborhood Flag Man"
    Eugene, Oregon, USA.

    FlagAdvocate likes this.
  5. Staceye

    Staceye New Member

    Thank you Eugene for your response, My husband at the time was a Veteran of Active duty Army. I understand what the succession was suppose to be at the time of his funeral.

    Since my initial post, I have spoken with two attorneys. This is actually a conversion issue, as the Grandmother was what they said "borrowing" the flag until the children were older. I will be meeting with another attorney tomorrow that has a military background who can make sure that what I've been told so far is accurate and proceed with sending the sister a letter to return his flag to the girls.
  6. Robin Hickman

    Robin Hickman Well-Known Member

    OK, Staceye! It looks like you've found the right people to help you solve your problem!

    Good Luck, and please let us know how it turns out!

    Robin Hickman

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